BRADENTON (FOX 13) - It's not every day people get this kind of opportunity. All weekend in Bradenton, people are getting the chance to see doctors, get treatment and feel better, completely free of charge.
It's all happening at Manatee Technical College. The RAM organization, which stands for Remote Area Medical, is inviting everyone, from children to the elderly to stop by. No questions asked, no money required. The goal is to simply make people feel better.
Before the sun game up Friday, there was a line outside the door. At first glance, in the dark, it may look like something you'd see on Black Friday. But, the gifts these people are waiting for could save their lives.
"Because of the treatment of radiation, my teeth deteriorated and they dried out. The roots died," one man told FOX 13.
He'd suffered for years after a battle with cancer. His gums are growing over his broken teeth. Oral surgery is too expensive. So, he lined up, hoping for a miracle - and he got one.
"Here, it's gonna be done for free," he said. "The man is gonna look at me, he's gonna take care of my teeth and if he can't take care of everything, he's gonna refer me someplace else."
This weekend, Manatee Technical College has turned into a one stop shop medical treatment center, thanks to RAM. The organization has held more than 800 of these pop-up medical events around the world.
From general practitioners to dentists, eye exams to HIV tests, hundreds of volunteers are ready to help.
"No questions asked. It's always been our policy," said RAM founder Stan Brock. "We don't need to know if you're from here or the moon, we just need to know where does it hurt?"
"He just got his teeth cleaned. Want to show them?" Scott Carvin said to his young son, James. James gave a big, wide smile.
The Carvin family has seven children and now, a little extra peace of mind.
"It is huge," their mother Sami Carvin said, "because owning our own business, we don't have dental coverage. For us to be able to do this, we saved quite a bit of money that we can use on other things."
"A free pair of glasses means 12-year-old Kelly Pastrana can see the world with a clear set of eyes. "Now, I can see better," Pastrana said. "Now, I don't have to worry so much about trying to get my grades up because of not being able to see the board well. It means a lot to me. It means the whole world to me."
About 1,600 people attended last year's event Bradenton. That amounts to more than a million dollars in free care.
"The need is so overwhelming," Brock said.
In a world where nothing is free, the gift of health is priceless.
'They change lives and help other people in the community," Pastrana said with a smile.
The RAM event continues Saturday from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Door also open Sunday from 6 a.m. to noon. You don't have to bring anything with you.
Brock said they could use some more help from local dentists, optometrists and opthamologists. If you can volunteer your time, just bring your license, and they'll provide the tools.
For more details, click here, or call 941-526-4766 or 865-579-1530.